Our Optometrists Specialize in Glaucoma Management in Plano, TX
Glaucoma is an ocular disease that can damage your optic nerve and vision quality. At Lakeside Vision & Optical, glaucoma testing and treatment is our expertise. Dr. Deborah A. Moon and Dr. Blythe McPherson, Optometric Glaucoma Specialists, will inspect and monitor your eyes using advanced diagnostic equipment. When glaucoma is detected and treated early, we can offer effective ways to help preserve your sharp, healthy eyesight.
What happens when you have glaucoma?
The typical indication of glaucoma is increased pressure of the inner eye fluid. In order to preserve the spherical shape of your eyeball and the ability to provide clear vision, the proper amount of fluid must be present. With glaucoma, the balance between the inner fluid and the fluid that drains out isn’t correct.
When glaucoma goes untreated, there is an increased risk of damage to your optic nerve, which impacts its ability to communicate accurate visual images to your brain. Symptoms of glaucoma are generally only noticed once the optic nerve has been affected – which is why our eye doctors emphasize the importance of regular eye exams, with glaucoma screenings, in our Plano office!
If glaucoma isn’t managed well, vision loss or complete, irreversible blindness has been proven to result over time, making untreated glaucoma the second-leading cause of blindness in Americans over the age of 40.
Risk factors for glaucoma
Your chances of developing glaucoma are increased by the following:
- Diabetes, any type – particularly when it is uncontrolled
- Family history
- Above age 60
- Being a member of the Mexican-American population
What are the types of glaucoma?
Primary open-angle glaucoma
This is the most common form of glaucoma. It occurs when the eye slowly stops draining fluid as well as it should, almost like a clogged drain. Gradually, pressure builds in the eye and begins to damage the optic nerve. There is no pain involved and patients often don't know they are experiencing vision loss. At that point, the damage is irreversible. About 1% of Americans have this condition.
This type of glaucoma also called “closed-angle glaucoma” or “narrow-angle glaucoma”, occurs when the drainage angle gets backed up due to being too close to the iris. This, in turn, causes a rapid increase in intraocular pressure (IOP), the pressure within the eye. This is known as an acute attack and is an eye emergency. If not properly treated, it can cause blindness.
How do we test for glaucoma in Plano?
Our office is equipped with the latest diagnostic equipment to test for glaucoma. Using a tonometer, our eye doctors will measure your eye pressure quickly and without pain. Call a “puff test”, one type of tonometry involves evaluating what happens when a puff of air is blown across the surface of your eye. Another form of tonometry is performed by using a specialized device that touches the surface of your eyes gently to measure eye pressure. Eye drops to numb your eyes are usually applied before doing this test.
Increased eye pressure is a good indicator of glaucoma, yet it does not give a definitive diagnosis. The only way to confirm a glaucoma diagnosis is by performing a comprehensive eye examination. Our Plano optometrists will check your eyes skillfully and thoroughly to look for signs of disease. We will apply dilating eye drops and then inspect your retinal tissues and optic nerve, with the aid of a high powered, magnifying lens.
Watch this short and informative video to learn more about glaucoma:
How do we treat glaucoma?
There are a number of treatment methods for managing glaucoma, depending upon your personal condition. The goal of medical therapy is to reduce eye pressure and stabilize it at a healthy amount, so it will not cause damage to the optic nerve. Possible treatments include medicated eye drops or laser surgery. The success of eye drops is heavily dependent upon patient compliance, as you must insert them regularly in order for them to work! Laser surgery acts to lower the natural production of eye fluid or to enhance the natural drainage of fluid from your eye.
IMPORTANT: Some, less common forms of glaucoma may cause nausea or vomiting, sudden blurriness of vision, intense pain or seeing halos around light. If these symptoms occur, it is recommended to contact our Plano eye doctors immediately - or head to your local emergency room.
We look forward to preserving your eye health and crisp vision! Contact Lakeside Vision & Optical today to book your appointment for a complete eye exam, or assistance with glaucoma management. Read more about Laser Vision Correction. For an eye exam in Plano, schedule an appointment today.